Exhibit in detail: spoon for left-handed people

Today, on the International Day of Left-handres, we are posting a story about peculiar exhibits presented in the collection section  "Russian Enamel" — spoons for left-handed people.

In 1976, the International Confederation of Left-handers, which is located in Topeka, Kansas, USA, prepared the "Left-handers’ Bill of Rights". The document stated: "Henceforth, August 13th of each year will be celebrated as International Left-handers’ Day, marking the strife for the freedom and dignity of left-handed people around the world".

The left-handed mass movement began in 1980 with rallies in the United States in defense of fired police officer Franklin Winborne, who, being left-handed, wore his holster on the left side, when, according to the statute, he was supposed to wear it on the right.
In Great Britain and a number of other countries this day was first celebrated on August 13, 1992 on the initiative of the British Left Handers Club that was established in 1990.

Left-handers Day is intended to draw public attention to the problem of retraining left-handed children (by teachers or parents) to write with the right hand, which leads to psychological trauma, and to the need for manufacturers of household goods and designers to take into account the convenience of left-handed people.
For a long time, the main reason for retraining left-handed people was anxiety for their social adaptation in a world where right-handed people prevail and where all technical means are designed for right-handed people. Many parents retrained their children because they were afraid that left-handedness would prevent them from acquiring a profession in the future. School teachers, strictly followed the rules – everybody should write only with the right hand. Hence scientists proved that there was no point in retraining left-handed people, left-handedness was not just a predominant possession of the left hand, but also a reflection of a certain interhemispheric asymmetry.

There are 7-17% of left-handed people in the population. Due to the widespread termination of left-handedness retraining, the proportion of left-handed people in the world has increased 3-4 times over the last few decades.

The experience of many countries, such as the United States, France, England, Germany and others, in which left-handed children are not only not retrained, but all the necessary conditions are created for their normal existence in a right-handed environment, has convincingly shown that careful treatment of these children favorably affects their further development, and thus the success of society as a whole.

Scientists talk about the superiority of left-handers over right-handed people. Nevetheless, left-handed people have some advantages in certain activities. For example, in playing musical instruments and sports — boxing, tennis, fencing. In boxing, the right-handed stance of left-handed athletes gives tangible advantages in fighting with right-handed athletes. Left-handed athletes use both hemispheres more efficiently, which is why their reactions are faster. This gives them an advantage, for example, in soccer, where they can often kick with equal success with either foot, because both feet, as well as both hands, are under the control of the opposite hemispheres.

In many countries there are special stores for left-handed people, where one can buy knives and scissors, sports equipment, sewing machines, refrigerators, cameras, computers with keyboards adapted for left-handed people and many other things. Special musical instruments, such as guitars, are created for left-handed people. Plants and factories have machinery for left-handed people.

The museum exposition section "Russian Enamel"  features two spoons for retraining left-handers into right-handed people. The spoons were crafted at Antip Kuzmichev factory* of gold, bronze and silverware in Moscow in the last quarter of the 19th century.

Oval smooth deep cups of both spoons are at 90 degree angle to partially rounded twisted stems with the flat expanding end. The external side of one spoon cup is decorated with enamel floral ornament of stems with lush leaves and fancy flowers, and the monogram "S*J*R". The inner side of the cup and the flat expanding end of the handle, outlined by the enamel frame, are decorated with the floral ornament of stems with leaves, with three- and five-petal flowers. The color of enamels is based on a combination of green, red, blue, blue and white shades.
The second spoon external side is decorated with the simplistic image of a lily, the decoration of which is formed of three registers filled with foliage geometric pattern with the inclusion of a multi-petal rosette and the monogram "S∙J∙R". The enamel image of a simplistic lily decorates the cup inner side. The flat expanding end of the handle, outlined by enamel frame, is decorated with a floral ornament of scrolls with flowers at the ends. The enamels color scheme is based on a combination of white, turquoise, red and blue shades.

Prominent left-handed politicians and military men: Caesar and Napoleon, Alexander the Great and Charles the Great, Churchill, Bismarck and Fidel Castro. American presidents -- Gerald Ford, Bill Clinton, George Bush Sr. and Barack Obama. Left-handed artists were: Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Auguste Rodin, Pablo Picasso, Peter Paul Rubens, Albrecht Dürer; writers -- Hans Christian Andersen, Franz Kafka, Friedrich Nietzsche, Lewis Carroll; musicians -- Niccolò Paganini, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Sergei Rachmaninoff; actor Charlie Chaplin; scientists -- Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton and others.

* Antip Kuzmichev -- owner of the factory producing gold, bronze and silver items. The factory was founded in 1856, and in 1901 the factory had 120 working craftsmen. The factory had its own unique artistic language, its own easily recognizable style; it produced tableware and church silverware in the Neo-Russian style. Silverware with enamels was especially famous. The factory worked closely with the famous Tiffany firm, which supplied the American market with luxury items, exotic goods and arts and crafts from China, Japan and Russia. The factory existed until 1917.

The material is based on information from open sources